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News Release
FOR RELEASE - May 22, 2020
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 254-7098

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (703) 684-5700

Ports, Vessels, Communities Pay Tribute To National Maritime Day

Noontime ship whistles this week recognized mariners, vessels, ports and port workers in pandemic response and recovery, supply chain continuity & long-term economic stability

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas - and a large segment of its hemispheric membership today commemorated National Maritime Day. To mark the occasion, which annually recognizes mariners, the maritime industry, ports and their workforces, AAPA and its members encouraged vessels in ports and harbors throughout the Americas to sound their horns or whistles four times at noon each day from May 18 to May 22 as they worked to move COVID-19 response necessities and other goods around the globe.

This year’s National Maritime Day theme, Sound Off for National Maritime Day, focused on the current COVID-19 global pandemic response and recovery effort. It was to recognize the bravery, dedication, sacrifice and professionalism of the port industry workforce in their collective efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus while ensuring a steady flow of vital goods and services.

In the U.S. alone, some 652,000 maritime-industry professionals support nearly 31 million additional American jobs whose work ensures that cargo and its cruise and ferry travelers move efficiently through the nation’s ports. Through passenger and crew screenings, vessel quarantines and other measures, seaports are committed to ‘flattening the curve,’ both domestically and among their country’s critical trade partners around the world.

Among the ports and other organizations that participated in AAPA’s “Sound Off” tribute via social media, through press releases and other National Maritime Day outreach were: American Maritime Partnership, Columbia River Steamship Operators Association, Curaçao Ports Authority, Florida Maritime Partnership, Florida Ports Council, Georgia Ports Authority, Great Lakes Seaway Partnership, Hampton Inn Hotel & Suites Albany Downtown, Hawaii Department of Transportation (Port of Hawaii), Moffatt & Nichol, OrbitMI Inc., Northwest Seaport Alliance, Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, Port Everglades, Port of Albany (NY), Port of Baltimore, Port of Boston (Boston Harbor), Port of Coos Bay (OR), Port of Galveston, Port of Gulfport, Port of Palm Beach, Port of South Louisiana, Port of Vancouver USA, Port Tampa Bay, Portside New York, Shipbuilders Council of America, Port of San Diego and South Jersey Port.

“Thanks to these and the many other organizations not mentioned here that recognized National Maritime Day and participated in AAPA’s ‘Sound Off’ initiative,” said Chris Connor, AAPA president and CEO.  “As businesses around the world begin the process of re-opening and people cautiously venture outside their homes, please join us in supporting the ports, port workers and their logistics partners who are laboring around the clock to keep us all supplied with vital consumer goods, medical equipment, energy and raw materials.”

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao also thanked the nation’s ports and maritime community in a special video.

Given the coronavirus concerns this year, many of the annual events to recognize National Maritime Day had to be postponed, canceled to performed virtually to protect the health and safety of participants.  Seaports typically honor the day in different ways … from commemorative wreath-laying ceremonies for merchant mariners, award celebrations, and trash and recycling bin painting parties, to marine terminal tours and displays. Other ports, like the Port of San Diego, Port of Redwood City and Port of New Orleans, commemorate all of May as “Maritime Month,” hosting a series of events that recognizes the industry’s role in job creation and economic prosperity and its commitment to education, workforce training and environmental stewardship.

For more information about AAPA’s Sound Off for National Maritime Day initiative, click here

About AAPA
Founded in 1912 and recognized as the unified voice of seaports in the Americas, AAPA today represents 130 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 200 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports.
According to 
IHS Markit’s GTA Forecasting (previously known as World Trade Service), combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere seaports in 2018 totaled nearly 4.2 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.7 trillion in value. Of that combined total, seaports in Central and South America handled 1.86 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.17 trillion, while North American seaports handled 2.34 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.53 trillion.  Within North America, U.S. seaports handled 1.01 billion metric tons of international trade valued at US$1.95 trillion, while Canada’s seaports handled 380.53 million metric tons of goods valued at US$266.67 billion, and Mexico’s seaports handled 352.53 million metric tons of cargo valued at US$312.91 billion.
To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable.  For more information, visit On Twitter:

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